Toronto – The Board of Directors of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario Division is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 Media Awards for excellence in local and provincial coverage of mental health issues.
Wendy Gillis, a journalist with the Toronto Star, is the winner of the CMHA Provincial Media Award. Barrie’s KOOL FM 107.5 and ROCK 95, properties of Central Ontario Broadcasting, are winners of the CMHA Local Media Award.
Ms. Gillis has been selected for her extensive body of work examining the intersection of mental health and the justice system. Most recently, the dedicated coverage she and her colleagues have provided surrounding the death of Andrew Loku has had a profound impact.
“Ms. Gillis’ reporting has drawn attention to the need for better awareness of mental health issues and, particularly, appropriate police response to incidents involving people with lived experience of a mental illness,” said Michael Lewkin, Board Chair, CMHA Ontario.
The board applauds her diligence and determination in covering this case as it has led to significant developments: the release of the SIU report into Mr. Loku’s death; the establishment of a coroner’s inquest into the fatal shooting; and, the government’s subsequent launch of the Independent Police Oversight Review by Justice Michael Tulloch.
In Barrie, CMHA Ontario recognizes the tremendous support of the community’s most-listened to radio stations.
KOOL FM 107.5 and ROCK 95 go beyond just covering stories related to mental health. They are steadfast partners of our local CMHA branch, helping to raise awareness and encourage listeners to talk about mental illness and mental health.
Station staff readily support local CMHA awareness activities. They provide on-air promotions, make personalities available to host and emcee CMHA events, and offer the use of enthusiastic street teams to spread the word of local mental health initiatives.
“KOOL FM 107.5 and ROCK 95 are true community partners and we appreciate the meaningful contribution they make to the local conversation about mental health. They play a significant role in encouraging listeners to speak openly and help to break down stigma and discrimination too often associated with mental illness,” Lewkin said.
The annual CMHA Media Awards recognize organizations and journalists who best exemplify the spirit of CMHA with significant coverage of mental health issues in local communities or across the province.
Selected among nominees put forward by local CMHA branches, the awards have been handed out every year since 2000.
For more information, contact:
Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division
416-977-5580 ext. 4141